Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood

Since coming to power in 2002, the AKP government has enacted a series of urban transformation projects that have significantly altered the urban landscape of cities across Turkey. In this article, the author takes up the latest item on the government’s agenda – the 2012 Draft Law on the Regeneration of Areas under Disaster Risk – which would empower the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization with a capacity to appropriate all property it deems “risky,” and build new structures in their place. According to the author, this law would allow the government to impose its will on urban spaces without accountability, transparency, or popular consent. Instead, the author advocates for the implementation of urbanization projects that take a citizens-based approach, respect housing and shelter rights, and aim to conserve rather than threaten the cultural and historical heritage of Turkey’s cities.